Reduce Water Retention With Dandelion Root And Watch Your Weight Drop

Dandelion root has been used since time immemorial for the treatment of a wide variety of disorders, and the first written records of its use are from the 10th century writings of Arabian physicians. It was certainly regarded as more than a common weed in mediaeval times when medicines as we know them did not exist.

However, mediaeval remedies usually had a scientific basis because they generally worked, especially the herbal remedies.  For example, using willow bark for pain and reducing swelling. It was only later that willow was found to contain salicylic acid, the basis of aspirin. So it is with dandelion, and its use for blood and liver problems, as a diuretic, and to help with kidney disorders including kidney stones.

Dandelion Root and the Liver

Dandelion root has long been regarded as being a tonic for a ‘sluggish’ liver that was thought to be responsible for symptoms such as constipation, fatigue, boils and eye problems.  This is the origin of the term to look ‘liverish’. The liver was thought to be ‘congested’ in the way that a blocked nose could be congested. This has continued into the present day, when some believe that dandelion can be used to detox the liver and the gall bladder.

If you can find it, roasted dandelion root has a far better flavor than just simple powdered root, and makes a great tasting drink similar to coffee.  You can also use it as a tincture since the active ingredients are alcohol soluble. Dandelion makes a good detox after a hard night of partying, and will help the liver to work its way through all that alcohol processing it has to do. If you live in a polluted area you should take dandelion root regularly. The root is better for the liver than the leaves.

Although there is no real scientific proof for this, dandelion certainly appears to have some beneficial effects. Many of these old natural cures have since been found to have a genuine scientific base, and perhaps that of dandelion is yet to be determined. Initial studies have shown that dandelion does indeed increase the production of bile by the gall bladder, and improve its flow.  This is promoted by the sesquiterpenoid lactones eudesmanolide and germacranolide that are unique to dandelion.

Although the root is a rich source of vitamin A and of some metallic minerals, it is these bitter ingredients that give it its most desirable properties. Bile production and flow also stimulates the metabolism of fat and cholesterol into the body. Those suffering from alcohol abuse are recommended by modern herbalists to take dandelion root either in powder form or as a tincture.  The tincture is recommended since the active ingredients are alcohol soluble.

An increase in the liver metabolism will result in not only more efficient removal of toxins, but also an increase in free radical production, and the vitamin C and beta carotene content of dandelion leaves are ideal antioxidants to take care of these. Hence, while the root is a useful liver stimulant, the whole plane should be used for the maximum effect.

Dandelion Roots and Leaves as a Diuretic

Dandelion root is also an effective diuretic that many people swear by.  Not only is it effective in cases of swollen ankles and feet, but it does not deplete the body of potassium as most prescription diuretics can. Dandelion root is effective for several different conditions where a mild diuretic is indicated, such as in high blood pressure and digestion problems. The leaves can also be used as a diuretic, and many people swear by it even though clinical trials have been inconclusive. It is more than a placebo, as some physicians’ claim, since it is in wide spread use throughout the world for its diuretic effect.

The root and leaves are commonly used by women who frequently suffer from premenstrual water retention. The uncomfortable bloated feeling with the resultant increase in weight can be alleviated by drinking a tea made from the leaves, or by using powdered root. Dandelion contains a high level of potassium and also calcium phosphorus and iron, so the diuretic is well balanced nutritionally, especially with the vitamins A, B, C and D that dandelion also contains.

It is particularly rich in vitamin A and the leaves contain a high level of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Synthetic diuretics tend to flush minerals from the body, and supplements are normally necessary when these are used. Dandelion, however, contains its own mineral and vitamin supplements.  

Dandelion and Your Kidneys

The diuretic effect of dandelion is beneficial to your kidneys, and there have been claims that it has even helped to dissolve kidney stones. However, anybody with kidney stones, or any other kidney ailment, is strongly advised to refer to their physician. Native Americans used dandelion as a diuretic and for kidney complaints.
Dandelion root promotes the regular functioning of your kidneys, and the minerals it contains are important to the urinary tract.  In fact there is a natural flow, if that word can be used, from the diuretic action that helps the body to eliminate excess fluids through the kidneys.  The kidneys filter out the harmful substances that are then passed to the liver for detoxification. This process is helped by dandelion root that promotes the flow of bile and improved the liver metabolism.
When to Collect Dandelion

Dandelion roots are normally at the height of its potency and most bitterness between June and September, and that is when they should be collected. You should dig them up when it is wet and easy to get the roots out whole.  Try not to break them. You should wash the roots, and cut off the leaves, making sure that you leave no scales at the top. 

The leaves are best taken when fresh and new, rather than from the adult plant. You can eat them fresh in a salad or dry them for use in a tea.

How to Use Dandelion

There are a number of ways in which you can use the dandelion roots and leaves. The roots can be dried and powdered, or roasted and made into a drink like coffee. You can also make a root tincture by cutting the root and infusing it in absolute alcohol or even vodka would do! The longer you leave the root in the alcohol the better it will be.  The active ingredients are soluble in alcohol. Use about 1 teaspoon of the powdered root or about 10ml of the tincture three times daily.

You can make a tea from a cup of boiling water and about 4 teaspoons of the fresh leaves or two of the dried leaves. Infuse for about 5 minutes and drink.

Dandelion roots and leaves have many medicinal uses, though the more common are connected with the liver, the kidneys and as a diuretic. It is stressed that you must refer to a qualified physician for advice on any medical problem, and that the benefits of dandelion have not been proved scientifically.  However, many people swear by them and never use any other diuretic.

Centuries of use cannot be wrong. This bitter herb can easily be dug up in the back yard or more conveniently taken as pills, powered or made into a tea from tea bags. Dandelion root can be found at your local or internet health food store.

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